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Krul

Heaven's Reach - Interest Check

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Having gotten my hands on Shards of Exalted, I find myself inspired by Heaven's Reach, a setting I always wanted to run, but spent a lot of time working and reworking, that of an Interstellar Exalted game, with Solar's, Lunars, Sidereals and Terrestials among the stars (not to mention other exalted). I'm checking to see how much interest there would be for something like that out there.

So, is anyone interested in a game with supernatural powers, blasters and beam weapons side by side with swords and mystical shields or force fields, star ships and worm holes, and a vast galaxy of hundreds of thousands of stars to explore... where the main similarity to exalted, other then actual Exalted, is planetary systems by the names of Nexus IV, Rael, Rathess, or Corperations of Dragon Blooded known as the Mnemon Syndicate, or the Carthak Corperation.. and other such similiarities..

A game where the solars have only recently begun returning is it's largest true similarity to the original setting.

NOTE: To actually run this setting I would need at least a few people to indicate interest... I'd prefer 5-7 players... but I might handle as many as 8 or 9.

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While this sounds facinating, I don't know enough about this to express interest either way.

That and I am loaded in games currently.

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Sure, color me game for another ride with you, Krul. I got an angry Lunar heavy on the knacks and DBT-boosting charms in mind, lots of solar bond and past life dots, a vagabond of the flesh in search of the new and the strange to aquired for her collections of forms. Alien beasties only make it better.

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Solars, Lunars, Sidereals, Dragon Blooded, mainly, but a rogue Abyssal or Infernal is also possible... Alchemicals, I have a very different take on, I'd have to discuss that privately with the player.

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Glossary

Autochthon: One of the last surviving unaltered Stellar Intelligences, Autochthon has spent the last millennia absorbing worlds into his being and converting them into mammoth machines.

canals: Weakened regions of subspace connecting solar systems to one another, which allow for faster-than-light travel between stars, avigable only by starships equipped with anima-fields. [see Wormholes]

Central Empire, the: What remains of the galactic empire founded by First Emperor, built up by the Immaculate Golden Engineer, and maintained for millennia by the Exalted.

Death Avatars: Extrusions of a Tomb-Star’s will, the Death Avatars are powerful beings capable of interacting directly with the lifeforms and ghosts in Terminus and occasionally entering into the Known Worlds. They act as intermediaries between the Abyssal Exalted and the Tomb-Stars.

eschatechnology: The strange dark-matter and dark-energy devices of the Tomb-Stars, Abyssal Exalted and Death Avatars.

femtotechnology: The most advanced form of nanotechnology developed, where picotechnology and nanotechnology manipulated individuals atoms and molecules, femtotechnology manipulates individual nuclear particles and motes of Essence, allowing almost miraculous effects. Picotechnology was the stage of technology before femtotechnology, in use by First Emperor.

First Emperor: Ancient human who conquered much of the galaxy using pre-Essence technology and is still renowned, millennia after his death, for brutality and ruthlessness.

frontier, the: The region of space surrounding the Central Empire made up of worlds largely outside of Imperial control.

Grand Celestial Mountain: The subspace informational network that permeates the entirety of the galaxy, inhabited by the Sidereal Exalted and Essence-programs of varying power and importance.

Immaculate Golden Engineer: The imperial personage who created much of the infrastructure which allowed for the invention of the Exalted, the
interstellar canal system, and the Stellar Intelligences.

Known Worlds, the: The term for the known universe as it has come to be understood, remapped and redefined in the aftermath of the Malfean War. The Known Worlds consists of both the frontier and the Central Empire.

Shrieking Hordes: Strange beings made up of chaotic, half-formed matter and driven by an alien intellect, these creatures dwell in the broken
reality of the canals or at the periphery of the galaxy, where physics break down under their powerful whims.

Solar Dynasties, the: The millennia where the Solar Exalted, aided by the Stellar Intelligences and their fellow Exalted, ran the galaxy. Much of the technology and accomplishment of this era is largely deemed mythical except by those rare beings who remember it first-hand.

Son of Heaven, the: One of the oldest surviving Exalted, the Son of Heaven slew his bride, Dema Osirian, last of the Solar imperial rulers, and took control of the Central Empire a century after the Malfean War. He still rules it today.

Stellar Intelligences: Stellar macro-phenomena whose mass and Essence output were altered until they were sentient supercomputers run by Essence programs of immense power and unfathomable intent. Most were destroyed or altered by the Solar Dynasty.

Terminus: A pocket universe which exists on the other side of the Tomb-Stars, it grows with each iota of matter and energy absorbed by the dead Stellar Intelligences.

thaler: The common currency used throughout the Central Empire, made of an alloy nearly impossible to forge, and also a common unit of exchange in the frontier.

Thousandth Dynasty, the: The common term for the Central Empire under Heaven’s Son, often used on internal documents.

Tomb-Stars: Stellar Intelligences destroyed by the Exalted in the Malfean War exploded and collapsed in on themselves, creating massive
black holes and other destructive phenomena. Their intellects still survive in the subspatial realm known as Terminus. [see picture]

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Question regarding Lunars. I checked the book, but do the Lunars have the Changing Moon caste, or do they have the Waxing, Half and Wanning Moons?

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Quite frankly.. according to the setting notes, that's up to the ST.. and the Lunars don't need tattoos in this shard to keep their caste fixed... so I say, a lunar begins as casteless, and sets his or her caste to her own nature soon enough.. so all 5 lunar castes are available.

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This is interesting...I need to think about it.

I'm in a lot of games already, and almost ready to start running one.

:(

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Some Rules to Keep in Mind

The Basic Exalts Do Not Have the Great Curse (Abyssals, Alchemicals, & Infernals are the exception, they still suffer the effects of Resonance/Clarity/Urge)

Maximum Essence is 5 (Normally, pushing these limits will infect your present Incarnation with some variation of the Great Curse.. unless it is minor (A few 3-5 Caste/Favored Abilities/Attributes can be pushed a little,

Character Creation: Using the Errata Rules (With a few personal Adjustments - Mainly just that I expect to see 1/2 your charms in caste/favored)

The following adjustments should be made for the creation of Exalted characters. These changes apply in whole to Solar, Abyssal and Infernal Exalted. Those marked by an asterisk also apply to Dragon-Blooded, Lunar, Sidereal and Alchemical Exalted character creation.

• Players may raise any of their character’s Abilities to five without spending bonus points.*

• Players receive four specialties to distribute amongst their character’s Abilities.*

• Virtue dots may be purchased for 1 bonus point each. However, Willpower is calculated independently of Virtues.*

• Characters begin with Willpower rated at 5. Willpower may be increased at a cost of 1 bonus point per dot.*

• Characters may start with (Willpower + Compassion) Intimacies without spending bonus points.*

• At least 1/2 of your charms should be Caste/Favored Abilities

• Charms cost 4 bonus points, or 3 if they come from a Caste or Favored Ability. (Solar/Abyssal/Infernal Cost - the other Splats use the regular cost)

• Players receive 18 bonus points at character creation.*

Firearms and Drive are two new skills they match but do not replace Archery and Ride... the Exalt who has Archery or Ride as a Caste Skill must chose one of the two to be Caste.. the other is not, though they can always favor it.

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NEW ABILITIES

DRIVE

Trait Description: Drive measures a character’s ability to control a motorized vehicle at high speeds, from the cars and motorcycles of Exalted: the Modern Age to hovercrafts, speeder bikes, and other futuristic personal conveyances in Heaven’s Reach. Drive also serves as a limit on a character’s martial prowess when driving a vehicle. If a character’s Drive is lower than the combat Ability she is using, she suffers an internal penalty equal to the difference between the two Abilities.

Specialties: Compact Cars, Trucks, Muscle Cars, Motorcycles, Speeders, Tailing, Daredevil Maneuvers, In Combat, Off-Road, Heavy Traffic.

Trait Effects: Someone with Drive 1 can guide a car through heavy traffic at speed. Someone with Drive 3 can weave through heavy traffic under aerial bombardment at top speed without a scratch. Someone with Drive 5 can jump a motorcycle from atop a tall building and into the open door of a helicopter to finish a chase scene—without scratching the paint.

FIREARMS

Trait Description: This trait is important in combat.

Firearms allows the character to use all manner of guns, from the pistols and shotguns of Exalted: the Modern Age to the blasters and disruptors of Heaven’s Reach, and their artifact equivalents.

Specialties: Pistols, Revolvers, Shotguns, Blaster Rifles, Disruptors, Duels, Sniping, While Driving

Trait Effects: Someone with Firearms 1 can head-shot the paper targets at the firing range. Someone with Firearms 3 can shoot the guns out of assailants’ hands—while running. Someone with Firearms 5 can keep a coin dancing in the air until she runs out of bullets, without disfiguring the coin.

Sail covers Stellar Navigation and Starship and Starfighter Piloting - I'm going to rename it Piloting

Lore is needed to find the Canal Routes though Interstellar Space, and to operate computers

Drive covers Ground based Vehicles

MATTERS OF CASTE AND ASPECT

Certain Exalts inherently favor Drive and Firearms, considering them Caste/Aspect Abilities, as appropriate.

They are listed as follows:

Drive: Eclipse, Moonshadow, Fiend, Earth, Journeys

Firearms: Dawn, Dusk, Slayer, Fire, Battles

However, this does not grant certain castes six Caste Abilities. Players of the above-mentioned Castes in settings which incorporate these additional Abilities must, during character generation, decide which five of the six Abilities they will take as their character’s Caste/Aspect abilities. For example, an individual creating a Dawn Caste character in Exalted: the Modern Age might consider the rarity of bows and the ubiquity of guns in the setting, and decide to drop Archery from his character’s list of Caste Abilities, keeping Firearms in its place.

Dragon-Blooded still enjoy their Aspected mote discount for Charms of the ‘dropped’ Ability, even if they gain no experience discount when buying its Charms and raising its rating.

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• Hacking (Lore): Hacking a computer or a similar electronic device allows a character to gain unrestricted access to all its contents and functions, as arbitrated by the Storyteller. Doing so is a minute-long dramatic action in which the character rolls (Intelligence + Lore). The difficulty usually ranges from 1-5, based on the level of security used to protect the computer. An average person’s home computer might be difficulty 1, a technical expert’s

might be difficulty 2-3, while computer systems owned by governmental organizations, intelligence groups, militaries, or technologically skilled Exalted could have a difficulty of 4-5, or even higher in exceptional situations. Hacking usually requires the character to have physical access to the computer he is attempting to gain control of. If he attempts to do so from another computer that is part of the same local network, he takes a -2 external penalty; if he does so from a remote network, the penalty rises to -4. Failed rolls cannot be retried unless the character is able to gain a greater situational advantage—obtaining more direct access to the computer he is attempting to hack, acquiring superior equipment, using magic, and so on.

• Bypass Security (Lore/Larceny): Electronic security measures such as pass-coded locks, key card scanners, andbiometric security can be bypassed with either an (Intelligence + Lore) roll or a (Dexterity + Larceny) roll. Lore-based attempts involve exploiting flaws in the programming of such devices to gain illicit access; Larceny-based attempts involve physical manipulation of the device. Difficulties range from 1-5 based on the sophistication of the security system, and characters suffer a -1 external penalty on the roll if they do not have appropriate tools.

• Space Navigation (Lore): Deep space navigation is also a Lore specialty, and Lore is used to plot courses across the stars.

• Piloting (Sail): Operating modern aircraft uses Sail, requiring at least two specialties in Aviation. These do not count toward the maximum number of specialties for the Ability. Operating spacecraft also uses Sail, although this is the default use for Sail in Heaven’s Reach; traditional sailing vessels require two specialties in Nautical Engineering for anyone not raised on an aquatic world (in such cases, two specialties in Voidfaring are required to operate spacecraft). Again, this does not count toward a character’s maximum number of specialties.

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Artifact Guns are known as Shell Casters

Artifact Blasters are known as Star Casters

You need Resources 4+ or Artifact 4+ to start with your own starship

Influence 5+ is what you need to rule over a people or planet.

Many weapons from Alchemicals are commonly available here, such as Beam Weapons for example, but regular artifacts are just as common, sense any artifact weapon can be terribly dangerous.

Chaomorphic Symbiotes are fairly common in certain parts of the galaxy

Some further notes: The number of Exalts of each type can be considered x1000 in general, give or take a few thousand.. Dragon Blooded can be considered even higher, the houses of the Central Empire are known as the 10 Million Dragons and many are the results of breeding projects spanning thousands of years... and that doesn't could the dozens of worlds of the mercenary Seventh Legion and it's Capital of Lockshy VII

Solars

- Standard Rules..

- Solars can take Lunar Bond to match the Lunar's Solar Bond

- Essence beyond 5: A Solar can use Divine Transcendence of (Ability) safely on about 1/2 of his caste/favored attributes, past that they gain the great curse and a virtue flaw assigned to their highest virtue.. learning Glory to the Most High automatically invokes this effect, and activating GtMO means a solar instantly goes into limit. Abyssals and Infernals already deal with their versions of the curse and can as such, use abilities to raise their capabilities to the 6 level without limit. || GtMH does not stack with Divine Transcendence

Lunars

- Are Casteless for a little while when first Exalted, then they essentially settle into one of the 5 Lunar Castes.. they don't need Tattoos to fix their shape, but Lunars often take Tattoo Artifact for other things, especially the Space Survival effect covered below. (it does mean the commitment is permanent, as usual)

- Essence beyond 5... a Lunar has a version of Divine Transcendence of Attribute, they can use it for about 1/2 of their caste/favored attributes safely.. pushing past that point creates.. problems.

- Heaven's Reach is filled with unusual creatures, a lunar does not have to take a normal animal for their spirit shape.. though it should be based on a normal creature in some way or another.

- Solar Bond: Is chosen by the Lunar, they are not bound to any particular Solar until they chose to be, then the effects of Solar Bond are in effect... Solars may also take Lunar Bond to reciprocate. [NOTE: Once the bond is filled, that link is in the primary place, but the charm 'Silver And Gold Span the Heaven's' will allow another bond.. though a dozen lunars with that charm could chose to bond to a single solar.. if they wished.]

Sidereals

- Sidereals gain the great curse by hacking themselves to the point of being able to practice Sidereal level Martial Arts... only Prismatic Arrangement of Creation can be learned safely, other arts damage the Sidereal's long range forecasting abilities, but only once the Sidereal Attempts to master charms requiring essence beyond 5.

Dragon Blooded

- The Terrestials are least affected by the effects of the curse, but they can push their abilities like the others... it creates the same problems

- Those from the Imperial Bloodlines start with Breeding 3 for free.. and may increase it to five points with regular Background points, they may also purchase Legendary Breeding for 2 BP's instead of One, and use Dynast Character Creation Rules

- the Seventh Legion uses Lockshy Character Creation Rules.. and start with Breeding 2 for free

- Outcastes are as Normal

Alchemicals, Infernals and Abysssals are unchanged..(they can reach the effects of Essence 6, but already having their version of the curse, it doesn't change them any further)

Genetic/Cybernetic Alterations (Background created by me for the purposes of this game.. encouraging alien and altered humans)

The following Points may only be spent on special merits (like Telepathy for a Telepathic Race) or Mutations (like the Wing's Abomination), they cover more humanoid alien races (Except for folks like the Vara(Jadeborn) or Sarians(Dragon Kings), genetically altered races like the People of the Air, and folks who have been be personally altered in some way or another, using genetic or cybernetic technologies. They work like Background Points, but may only be spent on mutations and merits, you may also use regular BP's to increase this further... the new form should work around a theme of sorts. They must be designated as cybernetic or genetic from the start. [NOTE: It only costs 1 point per dot to raise this background above 3]

1 - 2 Alteration Points

2 - 4 Alteration Points

3 - 6 Alteration Points

4 - 8 Alteration Points

5 - 10 Alteration Points

Survival in outer space

Artifact 2+ - Gaia's Embrace: this artifact projects a field around the user about 1 inch, and defends the user from the effects of outer space, it does not provide food or drink, or travel capabilities, but otherwise sustains the attuned as though it was a space suit. It can be added to any Artifact armor at rating 4+ at no cost except the Attunement increase- Attunement Cost: +3 motes (Exception: Warstriders, Armor of the Immaculate Dragons and Celestial Battle Armor come with this effect already installed at no extra Artifact or Attunement Cost). NOTE: Adding this to a existing artifact does not require spending bonus point to raise it above 3, nor does it cost more then 1 BP per dot to add it to any artifact.. you may use regular bonus points to add this effect to any artifact even raising it above 3 dots.

Abomination: Void Adaptation (Includes the effects of Air and Fire Adaption, a lack of need to breath, and ability to draw nourishment directly from solar energies) [NOTE: Some Chaomorphic Artifacts are installed with this Abomination]

Chaos Repelling Pattern renamed: Void Sanctuary Pattern - Will shield one from the effects of Outer Space as though it was the wild, though it doesn't cover the ability to actually move in space, you need some way to do this to actually move around, or dealing with hazards, such as stars or gravitational pull..

Eternal Elemental Harmony would allow someone to walk naked though the depths of space and even swim in the corona of stars (though some form of travel would still be needed to escape gravity) - same for the Abyssal Mirror of this charm.

External Hide Protection With all 5 directional Mastery Techniques will allow a lunar to ignore the effects of space, though a lunar can also take a animal that possesses Void Adaptation to survive.

The Void is a place of Desolation - Transcendent Desert Creature will allow anyone with that charm to survive in space with ease

Unbreathing Earth Meditation Will allow a Dragon Blooded to walk though the depths of space without protection

NOTES: Alchemicals don't need any help to survive in space, though they can be vulnerable to effects like solar winds or powerful electromagnetic fields in some areas. Lunars often have Tattoos for the effect of Gaia's Embrace.

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While I have next to no experience of Exalted, I am interested. Just a bit uncertain about how well I'd cope. But, nothing ventured nothing gained.

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Your Welcome to Join us... right now, I've decided I don't want Caste Repeats.. I include Abyssal's to that mess, Infernals are enough Different that it's not as much of a consideration there.. so if someone takes Dawn Caste, that also closes out Dusk as far as I'm concerned.

Taken Castes

Dawn(Dusk) - Long

Full Moon - Envoy

Waxing Moon - Abyss Phantasm

Night (Day) - SalmonMax

Defiler - Nyrath

At the moment, we have the still to be named Indomitable Class - Star Frigate with 4 Star Fighters.. with room for a Crew of 70, 30 passengers, and Barracks for 125 soldiers, ranging the frontier, the Captain being the Star Marshal and Solar Dawn caste.

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The Illuminated Accords

- A frontier Alliance produced by the Gold Stars a group of Sidereals lead by Ayesha Ura, the Vara Consensus Telepath, Diplomat and Adamant Caste Crystal Resonance, the Sarian Diplomant and Elder Dragon King Ath'aen, the Twisted Stone Conclave lead by the Lunar Gerd Marrow Eater.. they were the primary signataries, but others have been added sense.

- Primary Signatories: The Vara Consensus, The Sarian Combine, The Golden Stars, The Twisted Stone Conclave

- Secondary Signatories: The Haslanti League, The Sezekan Republic, The Seahome Federation, The Confederation of Rivers, The Syndics of Whitewall, the Halta Council (diplomatic efforts work at getting more signatories)

The Star Marshals are a product of the Illuminated Accords, they can be considered independent law officers trained to police the space lanes, dealing with interstellar problems of pirates, slavers, drug lords, criminals on the more normal level, but at a higher level... they deal with problems involving the Yozi's and Tomb-Stars, Yozi Cultists, Death Knights, Warlocks, and Shrieking Hordes who have slipped into normal space... some call the Star Marshals the Wyld Hunt and stories about them have spread as far as the Empire. Star Marshals generally are not planetary law and usually have little authority over internal matters of a star system, their authority goes outward to interstellar space.

Reactions: In frontier, on the more isolated planets, Star Marshals can be the only Law ever seen.. appropriate then that the returning Lawgivers are often recruited by them. They are generally looked on with a degree of awe and respect in the frontier. Within the empire, the common folk of the Empire admire them, but the powers that be are suspicous of them, especially sense so many of them returning Solar Exalted..

Training: While they prefer the Exalted, the Star Marshals will train anyone, at Kether Rock or the Sequested Tabernacle, though mortals don't finish training until they know at least one terrestial martial art, or a few spells of the Emerald Circle

Character Notes: Backing (Star Marshals) 2 is free to players who chose to be one of them..

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ON another note.. I've decided to grant up to 3-4 extra background points for a descriptive back story, planetary cultures and a bit of ancestry, I include previous incarnations as well as possible bloodlines for such things... Feel free to be creative, much of the setting is wide open... everything above regarding the Star Marshals and Illuminated Accords, is my creation in response to the description and characters I already got. NOTE: That means at least a few paragraphs and more then 700 words.

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Alien Races

- The Vara

- AKA: The Jadeborn, the People of Adamant, the Maker's, The People of Earth

This telepathic silicon based race are born of crystal and essence, they are amoung the most ancient races in the galaxy, though they are in a state of near constant war with the void based races known as Voidspawn (aka Darkspawn). The Vara live in a state of near perfect harmony, possessing four castes who exist in a diamond of perfection, and answering the Consensus, the spiritual and telepathic synthesis of their combined unconscious and dreaming minds, but active burning stars disrupt this connection on some sort of deep level, and as such the Vara are only comfortable in brown dwarf star systems, though their Exalted caste can overcome this difficulty, the rest of them simply are too uncomfortable to live outside such places without exalted help. The will of the consensus embraces the Exalted (Even human ones) hold a level of spiritual holiness among them though the Consensus, though association with the enemies of creation is rejected amoung them... the Adamant do not have this difficulty either, which is why they are the Priests, Diplomats and Envoys to the outside universe.

Adamant: Though there are rumors that the Stellar-Intelligence known as Autochthon has Alchemical Exalted (possibly true, considering that the Vara were heavily involved in Autochthon's design), they are young in comparison to the Adamant Caste. The Vara never created (and never would create) any kind of Alchemical but the Adamant (Jade is used in their own birthing process, and the other magical materials, with the exception of Adamant, are not Crystaline enough to hold the souls of this Silicon based race)

Vara possess four castes, and three layers of power: Worker(54.9%), Warrior(40%), Artisan(5%), Adamant(0.1%) || Unenlightened (75%), , Enlightened (24.9%), Exalted(less then 0.1% - about 1 in a thousand)

Cultural Peculiarities: (1)As a telepathic race, the Vara view dishonesty as a form of insanity, though they know and understand such behaviors they find it strange that other races persist in such peculiar behavior. (2) They love beauty and artistry, they can take much longer to create things but what they make is made to last and made to be beautiful. (3) Not having a sense of modesty the Vara only use clothing when it's a matter of function, protection or decorative purposes, they consider humanity's view on clothing to be a bit ridiculous.

Major Star Systems (All Brown Dwarf Stars): Urvar, Teffa, Dijak, Rurk, Lutar, Shinning Kren, Pless

Vara Characters: Use Mountain Folk rules with the following changes - the Basic Pattern Charms: Essence Satiation Method (x3), Stone-Still Lungs (x3) and the Telepathic Merit are added for Free. Advanced Enlightened (Essence 5+) Can install Alchemical Charms of up to essence 3, allowing Vara access to quite a few charms beyond their own.. but they can't use them in Arrays or combo them. Affected by the Mountain Folk Curse as part of their nature and connection to the Consensus, not a limit placed upon them.

Vara Exalted: Alchemical Adamant Caste only, use Alchemical Creation Rules with the following Changes: Change Mentor for Genetic Alteration 3 and reduce Bonus points by one.. the these points are used to grant them the telepathic merit. Vara Adamant Castes do not posssess or need soul gems, Vara possess soul gem effects by virtue of the Consensus. Besides not needing to breath, Vara Adamants (As apposed to Autochthon Adamants) do not need to eat or drink either. NOTE: Adamant should never possess Appearance less then 3. [NOTE: This is the only Player Character Alchemical available - the other castes are not available. Deal with Clarity like other Alchemicals, but they are linked to the Consensus not the Design of Autochthon, Aesthetic beauty is also important at all levels of clarity, and the Collective Well-being of the Consensus always matters.]

Vara Adamant Caste (With Wings installed): Slightly Mature Image

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House Rules

- Sense I can see plenty of room for it, with enough justification, a Solar or Lunar can take the Wealth Background instead of the Resources one.. Sidereal have Salary instead.. Adamant considering the vast resources the Vara possess (plus the Artisan charm that allows creation of MM, except for Soulsteel and Starmetal) may take Wealth without justification, being Vara is enough. Due to a more group then individualistic basis, Dragon Blooded of the Great Houses can only take Wealth if their Influence is 4+ (in their house), Breeding 5+, and have Bureaucracy of 3+, and even then, they can only take it up to Influence -1 (meaning Wealth 4 requires influence 5). But starting Wealth should not be over 4 anyway... though it can be increased as such later (And for that matter, if you do have Wealth 4, I expect to see Influence 2+ somewhere for Solars and Lunars - or something like high larceny, bureaucracy or craft as a representation of how you got such wealth)

-Adamant Caste may take Retainers and Henchmen to represent other Vara who seek to serve the Consensus by serving one of the Holy Agents of the Consensus (use Enlightened or Unenlightened, instead of Mortal or Dragon Blooded).

- Others, included Dragon Blooded, may also take Retainers and Henchmen to represent particularly capable individuals personally sworn to your service.

- Allies, like Artifact, each ally is a seperate background, and they gain XP as you do.. the level of Ally is how much XP they start with in relation to you.

- Ally 1 (same as your present) - Ally 2 (+150 xp) - Ally 3 (+300 xp) - Ally 4 (+500 xp) - Ally 5(+800 xp). How deep the Ally's sense of loyality to you is depends on the backstory you give me.. a really good backstory could end up with a lifedept (like Chewbacca and Han Solo), but the Default is a positive Intimacy.

- Artifacts 4+ - Without extra cost, anyone who has a artifact at this level that requires a heartstone, may chose to have Essence Capacitors instead at no extra cost... I'm not going to make someone have to buy Artifact 4+ and then Manse 3+ just to opperate their artifact, that always seemed unfair to me.

- The following is Not a House rule, but a 2.5 Update that I believe everyone needs to be aware of:

Exalts need not spend experience to purchase or create Combos, nor spend Willpower to activate them. Characters may simultaneously activate as many of their Charms as they desire, so long as the combination of powers activated obeys the rules for creating Combos (for example, characters still may not activate two Simple Charms simultaneously, nor activate another Charm at the same time as a Charm that lacks the Combo-OK keyword).

- It should also be noted, all Combos are Obvious and will flare your anima to full Iconic display.

- It should also be noted, A combo should still have a name and a unique display, these should be stunted.

- Astrological Charms are Available to Sidereals who meet the Prerequisites - the consecutive penalty only applies to the star system used in and the Exalted who uses them. Using an Astrological charm without serious need will invoke an audit, and is a high severity offence.

- Adamant Caste (Vara) may reconfigure their charms while away from vats, doing so however, makes the Adamant exceptionally vulnerable, for they go into a state of dormancy equal to dreaming for the normal amount of time it would take for a refit. This applies only to Uninstalling and Installing charms a Adamant already has.. new charms can also be purchased while in this state of Dream Refit, while the Adamant is in contact with the Consensus with three notable Exceptions [installing the basic charms to allow Protocol Weaving or the Perfected Lotus Matrix can not be done in the Dream State].. however, Installing new Charm Slots, Perminantly increasing Attributes or Increasing Essence does require access to a Vat.

- The Vara can install a Vat aboard a Starship, if it has room for a starfighter, the Vat takes up that space from that point on.. one needs Access to Resources 6 (Wealth 4) to be able to complete this process.. and the Vara needs several Retainers (Min of 3) &/or Henchmen (Min 3) to maintain the Vat, and at least one Enlightened retainer or henchman.

- Starship Speed is Acceleration instead, and deals with how it takes to change speed and range catagories in turns - Very Slow/Slow/Medium/Fast/Extreme - A ship in a higher speed catagory can always close on another ship within a turn to engage in combat with the ships weapons.

- Craft Fix - Each Dot of Craft gives you one of the 5 basic crafts, they do not have to be purchased separately.. the exotic crafts (Genesis, Magitech, Glamour, Fate and Vitorol are purchased as specialties, you must still met the basic craft requirements (Air, Fire, & one other to learn Magitech, or Medicine, Occult and Lore to Learn Genesis). Craft can have any number of these specialities, at a max of +3

- Starship Engineering is covered under the Magitech craft Specialty; Genetic Engineering is covered by the Genesis craft Specialty.

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Languages

Celestial (aka Spirit Code) - Old Realm (used mainly by spirits and Exalts)

Imperial (aka High Realm) - Used by the rulers, nobles and wealthy of the Empire

Low Imperial (low realm) - Used by the commoner's of the Empire

Varian (Rocktongue) - Used by the Vara

Sarian (High Holy Speach aka Dragontongue) - used by the Sarians

Trade tongue aka Common (Riverspeak) - Common Trading language of the Frontier and much of the empire, in much of the galaxy is the only language spoken

The following four languages are also major tongues in the 4 major regions of the frontier

Larathia (Flametongue) - In a region of space containing hundreds of thousands of desert and volcanic planets, fairly distant from the empire, the language eventually shifts to this tongue, this part of the galaxy contains a large number of isolated and tribal societies the further you get from the empire.

Serakan (Skytongue) - In a region of hundreds of thousands of arctic, tundra, and some of the colder forest planets, Seratha is the common languages, though the Void Walker Nomads who travel this region of space also. The Syndics of Whitewall, The Haslanti, League and the Sezekan Republic are all found in this part of the Galaxy.

Adetha (Sea Tongue) - Ocean, Swamp, Archpeligo (dominated by thousands of islands) and similar planets dominant the region of space where Adetha is spoken, it is the primary language of the Seahome Federation, the Coral Dominion, and the Star Pirates known as the Lintha (who have given their allegiance to the Yozi Kimbery).

Faria (Forest Tongue) - Forest and Jungle planets dominant the region of the frontier where this language is spoken, and for the most part, this part of the galaxy is farthest from the Imperial center, it is a wild place, but also a region filled with life. The capital of the Sarian Combine, the planet Rathess is found in this region of space, but they speak a different tongue then the human inhabitants of this part of the universe. This is the main tongue of the Chaya Republic, and the other powers in this region.

Other Languages: They exist, but are usually resigned to a single planet, people or special group (Such as Guild Can't, or lunar Clawspeach)

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After some consideration.. I'd like to have characters by the 15 of this month... we will start either a day or so after I have all PC's submitted and approved, or the 15th, whichever comes first... so your PC's should be in by August 14..

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I've been thinking about another issue for the last few days as well.. I've been considering starting everyone at essence 3 for free, but not allowing essence to be bought higher except with xp.. and I'm thinking I may give you a second xp track for essence.

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Alright... adding the following house rule

- Increasing essence is not done with experance or freebie points, but is only allowed once your ST (that's me) says you can.. and it will only be possible after major achievements are achieved, and down time will be required. On the plus side, it will not cost anything to increase essence, if and when I allow it, and I've decided starting essence is 3, but remember that you can't buy it any higher.

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Alien Races - The Sarians

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AKA: Lizardmen, Dragon Kings

The Sarians are a young race, according to the lore they rose to a intergalatic society just before the Malfean war began, as such they have no exalted in their ranks, but the Sarians have different ways of things then humanity. They practice the elemental arts of aeromancy, geomancy, hydromancy, pyromancy, and biomancy, arts which have relation to ancient dragon blooded arts, but are different in their exploration, for the universe has changed greatly. In addition, a few Sarians form 'Pacts' with the various spirit intellects and create a fusion, or 'Chosen' to deal with the kinds of things that humanity has the Exalted do. Some however, chose instead to follow the paths of Martial Arts or Sorcery for further power and enlightenment, and these are also great among their people.

Sarians are a lizard like warm blooded warrior race who evolved on the planet Rathess, they ended up following four seperate evolutionary paths, creating the 4 breeds of Sarians that exist today. They only gain sentience as they gain essence, , and thus their youth is a time of savage growth that affects this warrior race for all time. Some of the planets under their rule are not Sarian but human worlds who sought thier protection, or were conquered by them.

Saurians also pay attention to maintaining the environment of the planets they inhabit, they make use of a strange vegetative and crystal technology that interests other races, and non of their worlds are city worlds, deceptively, the most inhabited worlds of the saurians tend to be jungle worlds, like their homeworld of Rathess.

Elder Saurians are called Dragon Kings, and are powerful leaders, for the Sarian Combine is a weird mix of Monarchy, Meritocracy, Theocracy and Tribal Chiefs that humans find somewhat disconcerting but that the Saurians seem to lean toward naturally. They have a very strong code of honor and personal responsibility.

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Planetary System: Kether Rock

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The exact location of the training grounds of the Star Marshals isn't common knowledge, but the nature of the planet in the star system that circles the red star is, the volcanic planet is barely capable of supporting life, but life here is not the slight bit comfortable. That serves the Marshals just fine, for this is one of the most intense training grounds in the galaxy. Heat on the planet was intense, vast seas of lava flowed on the surface and only the heavily rocky mountainous parts of the planet were even livable by human standards.. and even there was hardly comfortable, temperature usually around 100 degrees in high mountain regions, and sometimes as high as 120..

Water on the planet existed, but mostly existed as water vapor, the only thing that makes this planet survivable is the manses, the majority of which were fire and earth, but a few air manses float much higher in the sky, and are the coolest places on the planet, temperatures cooling off to about 80 degrees at the coolest spots. Water is also shipped to the folks in training from a ice planet much further out in the system, which is also a training ground for cold survival.

Generally, only the toughest and most capable of individuals have any chance of surviving the extreme training that anyone here must go though.. for the most part, only those with some degree of unusual powers had any chance of surviving the training, for it as focused on making it hard for Exalted, which was entirely too hard for mortals.

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The Incarnae

The Celestial Incarnae a triumph of essence shaping, though the full knowledge of how they were created is lost to stellar civilization.. some even claim they were not shaped or created, but found or that they existed in a less material form before they came into existance, or that they were simply a requirement to create the Celestial Mountain itself. Below are the seven and the one, and the general concepts that they cover.

  • Sol Incarnate: The Most High, Ignis Divine, The Most Holy, The Guiding Light. Deity of Light, Glory, Excellence, Virtue, & Perfection. Chief Deity of War and Justice in the Heavens, the highest and most powerful of all the Incarnae, the ruler of all of the Material Intelligence's (gods) of the Celestial Mountain, the final authority within the Celestial Mountain, who dwells with the rest of the Incarnae at the peak of the Celestial Mountain.
    • Luna Incarnate: The Silver Mirror, the Light's Consort , the Fickle Lady, The Changing Maiden. Deity of Adaptation, Change, Evolution, Luck, & Survival. Luna is everything that Sol is not, the impossible made possible, ever changing, she refines and reflects further changes, she is the Chief Deity of Nature in the Heavens, though she is also a War Deity, much as Sol is. Furthermore, she is the only being who has looked into the heart of Sol and not been destroyed or irrevocably altered. As such, she is his Consort as much as Sol is her Consort.
      • The Maidens of Destiny: Five in number, yet working forever as a unit, the Maidens are both individualistic and collectivist in their nature, and save for one.. Sol and Luna's only Peers. They are also far more closely invested in the Sidereal Exalted then Sol and Luna are in the Solars and Lunars.
      • Mercury Incarnate: The Maiden of Journeys, Deity of Travel, Ships(both Space and Sailing), of the Canals, of Going Here and There, of Planning for the Future, and similar things
      • Venus Incarnate: The Maiden of Serenity, Deity of Peace, Pleasure, Passion, Love, Fertility, Beauty, of Music, Sex, Drugs, and anything related to such matters
      • Mars Incarnate: The Maiden of Battles, Deity of Conflict, Strategy, Tactics, Competition, Combat, of all those who fight in wars, from generals to soldiers, even the conflicts of children fall under her domain, all conflict is hers.
      • Jupiter Incarnate: The Maiden of Secrets, Deity of Mysteries, Sorceries, Knowledge, Keys, Treasures, Lost and Forgotten Things, of the Unknown and Unknowable, if any deity represents the Future, it is her, anything secret or mysterious is her domain
      • Saturn Incarnate: The Maiden of Endings, Deity of Death, Funerals, Finality, Destruction and Rebirth, if it involves anything that comes to an end, a individual, a city, a corporation, and empire, it falls under her preview.

        [*]Gaia: The Daughter of the Incarnae, the Beloved, the Child Goddess, the Maiden of Plenty, no one is quite sure what Gaia is, she is multi-manifested like the Stellar Intelligences, but her nature is more in tune with the Incarnae then them. What is more, she claims all 7 incarnae as parents, and they agree, though Luna is often the most invested and active with regards to her daughter. When asked for more explanation, the Incarnae refer everyone to Jupiter, who as usual, simply smiles. From her nature comes Gnosis, whose nature is not fully known, and the Five Elemental Dragons, and from them, the elementals which are so vital to the life patterns of the many worlds throughout the galaxy.

          [*]The Games of Divinity: Of special note, the Games serve several purposes, they keep the Incarnae from becoming bored or overly concerned with matters that should be left to mortals, keeping them grounded in the celestial mountain, they are a source of endless joy and pleasure to them, but more then simply revitalizing deities, they revitalize the galaxy, both bringing in and holding off the forces of chaos and entropy, stars touched by the games never run out of fuel, energy and essence tapping the regions of chaos and dark matter to restore their energies. The turns of the Games are also how time is measured on the galactic scale, 25 hours a day, 15 minutes for every turn of the games, 100 turns in a day. 15 months corresponding to the major seasons of the games, Air, Water, Earth, Wood, Fire.. and Calibration, when the games are naturally returned each year.

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The Exalted

  • Essence Limit: With certain exceptions, the general limit of Essence is 5, though some races (Vara and Sarians) can reach 6 by their essential nature, furthermore, the Exalted (especially Solar Tier) have ways to push the limits beyond the norm. [NOTE: The rules below replace any of the above house rules they apply to]
    • Exaltation: While exaltation can and does happen by chance, with some of the more established groups (Sidereals and Lunars) with the technology, it is directly implanted, those with the technology can hold and implant a shard in the right individuals if they chose. The creation of new shards is for the most part lost knowledge (leaving it in the hands of the Incarnae, specifically the Maiden of Secrets and the God-Constellation Autochthon, the Yozi's are bound against such creations, and the Tomb-Stars, if they are capable of such, have chosen instead to create the Abyssals from solar Shards, or so it is believed, the much worse and frightening possibility is that they can create such things without a corrupted solar shard)
      • Solar Exalted: Designed to interface with the Stellar Intelligences, the Solar Exalted also have a particularly close relationship with Sol Incarnate, one fifth of the Solar Host, the Zenith Caste were designated as his interface with the Galaxy, as his Priests, in essence. And when they created the Stellar Intelligence The Unconquered Sun to fight the Maefean Wars, they bound it irrevocably to Sol Himself. Solar Exaltation is bound to greatness and heroism, only those who possess these qualities can actually become Solar Exalts, others who somehow encounter a unbound solar shard(which isn't viable or detectable) can host it, but are only carriers (not exalted), until a more suitable host can be found.. this is usually a lethal prospect.
      • The Great Curse: Unknown to most, the Stellar Intelligences struct back as they lost the war, cursing the Exalted, the brunt of this curse fell upon the Solars, but it affected others in more subtle ways. The Solars found a cure, of sorts, the solar shard could be rebooted, but only in death, this is part of the reason so many of the solars withdrew from galactic civilization so willingly, to seek the cure. Newly Exalted Solars have no great curse, but they can gain it if they learn certain charms, for the curse was partly rooted in these capabilities. [Mechanically, certain charms produce Discord points, when this number reaches 10, the solar gains the great curse and a limit attached to their highest virtue]
      • Gaining the Curse: Divine Transcendence of (Ability) [ 0.6 Point for Caste Abilities, 1 points for Favored Abilities, 2 points for Non-Favored], Glory to the Most High [10 points], Black Mirror Revelation [5 points], Primordial Principle Emulation [5 points],
      • - Note, the Above charms allowing bypassing the limits, but not every charm is available, consult your ST (me) if you want a charm at this point.
      • Abyssal & Infernal: Resonance and Urge fills the effects of the Curse, they already have their own versions of the curse.
      • Infernal: Ascendacy Mantle of (Yozi) allows a Infernal to reach Essence 6, and access to the Devil-Tiger Transformations
      • Abyssal: Use the Doom of the Black Exaltation Rules Hack from Shards of Exalted rather then the Resonance rules from the Abyssal Book.
      • Solar Numbers: Prewar - 400,000 - Postwar - 250,000 || Infernal Numbers: 50,000 || Abyssal Numbers: 100,000 [NOTE: These numbers are approximations rather then exact, the numbers can shift a few thousand this way or that - Infernal Number are deceptive, the number of active Infernal Shards is far less then the number of Yozi corrupted shards, the Yozi's have a much harder time controlling the Infernal Shards in Heaven's Reach then in other Shards.. also, some Infernal Shards have already re-written themselves with Devil-Tiger Charms, and more then five Yozis were involved in shard redesign... Slayers, Malefactors, Defilers, Scourges and Fiends are the most common, but not the only Infernal castes out there, Devourers, Rhapsodies and Dements, for example, also exist, if in much smaller numbers, most such shards were created before the defeat of the Stellar Intelligences and lost somewhere in the galaxy. ]

        • Lunar Exalted: The first of the celestial exalted, and the rulers of the most powerful empire in the galaxy, the lunars are close in nature to their patron, but like her, are difficult to pin down. Faction wise, they are separated into the Long Warriors and the Imperial Lunars, but their are plenty of their kind associated with neither, going their own way. Lunars are less effected the curse, but it's effects are still in them, just less noticeable and considered more natural to their kind.
        • Gaining the Curse: Certain charms and knacks can be learned even if the essence requirement is too high, if the Lunar has learned Impossible (Attribute) Improvement, which must be learned before this can be done, the charm will then create a degree of discord- consult the ST to find out if a charm can be learned this way, and to find out how much it affects you. Alternatively, Some Lunars already have their version of the curse in effect, due in part to inconsistencies gained over a thousand incarnations in more then a 100 thousand years... if you wish to start with an active affect of the curse, consult with your ST (Me)
        • Lunar Numbers: 400,000 (approximately)
          • [*]Sidereal Exalted: Created as living predictive engines to interact with the Material Intelligence of the Celestial Mountain, the Sidereals possess great finesse and delicacy, and their numbers are far more regulated, they heavily interact with even the Incarnae, especially the Maidens who are closest to their own caste. Even Sidereal Charms are carefully limited and regulated, in order to better interface with the Weave of Fate. The Sidereals also find themselves in two factions, the Emissaries and the Exiles, the first mainly concerned with running the Celestial Mountain, and the other believing that there are more then enough Sidereal Exalted to cover the functions needed, the Exiles spend most of their time in the galaxy rather then the Mountain

            [*]The Curse: Sidereal Exalted gain their version curse from the study of Sidereal Martial Arts, but it is a slow process, and it isn't produced by any particular curse so to speak, but more by the essence shifting effects from internalizing aspects of existence the Sidereal Exaltation wasn't designed to handle. Before a Sidereal can learn a Sidereal Style, they must have mastered a Celestial Style.

            [*]Gaining the Curse: Learning a Sidereal Style up to the form charm produces only 1 point of discord, learning each charm beyond that adds 1 point of discord + 1 additional point of discord per essence dot over 5. Once the Sidereal gains 10 points, they suffer predictive discord and gain the flawed fate associated with their caste

            [*]Special: Prismatic Arrangement of Creation is a special case, it is a study of essence itself and is perfectly in turn with the nature of the universe, it's ultimate charm is a form charm and it has no charms above essence 5.. as such, it produces no discord for a Sidereal to learn. || Additionally: Certain Sidereal Styles are very much in nature for a certain caste to learn; Serenity - Sapphire Veils of Passion; Secrets - Quicksilver Hand of Dreams; Battles - Scarlet Patterned Battlefield; Endings - Charcoal March of Spiders; || These styles create much less discord for a sidereal of the proper caste, reducing the discord cost by 1 for each charm past the form charm that is learned.

            [*]Sidereal Numbers: 100,000 [Exactly]

            [*]Some Notes: A Thousand Score Fellowship - Often followed by a caste name [A Thousand Score Fellowship of Secrets], this refers to all members of the Caste. || The Five Thousand Score Fellowship - Representing all Sidereal Exalts in existence.

              [*]The Dragon Blooded: The Host of the Dragon Blooded is vast and varied, they are associated with Gaia, but they are forerunners of all of the Exalted. Unlike the other exalted, the Dragon Blooded exaltation is transmitted genetically, and grand breeding projects covering generation after generation have created the great trading clans.

              [*]The Passions: Generations of breeding and elemental alignment have created the Dragon Blooded equivalent of the great curse, a slight effect, but it is not known as such, it simply seeing as being lost to elemental passions, and believed to be an aspect of Terrestial Exaltation.

              [*]The Imperial Trading Clans: The Mnemon Syndicate, The Carthak Corporation, Peleps & Ragura, Cygnis & Sesus Industries, Ledaal Interests & Investigations, V'neef Incorporated, Iselsi Trading Syndicate, Syndicated Tepet, Nellens Conglomerate

              [*]Frontier Trading Clans: To be Added.

              [*]Essence 6 is available to elder terrestrials, after a century of life, much like it is for Sarians and Vara, but no Dragon Blooded can reach beyond that point.

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Genetically Engineered Humans

-Ariels - aka, the Sky Born, the People of the Air

  • Genetically altered for wings and sharper vision, their home star system of Szezakan is quite deep in the frontier, and the system is not even a planet, but a ring torus of atmosphere taken from a gas giant, according to legend the system was actually designed this way, a massive ring of air circling around a star. The location is dominated by air and wood elemental aspects, with some water, but very little earth or fire related elements. Great floating trees that stretch from one end of the breathable zone to the other, huge jungles floating in the central regions, fliers dominant this vast domain, which is why the Ariels are the dominant race in this region. A few dragon blooded bloodlines of Air and Wood can be found among them, as well as a few celestial exalted. [Homage: Larry Niven - Integral Trees]

    -Siren's - aka - Daughters of Serenity, Derogatory: Breeder Telepath, Mind Witch,
    • Possessing the Telepathy, Selective Conception, Longevity and Enlightened Essence || Unique Deficiency: These Traits are passed on genetically, but only to female offspring. [NOTE: Exalted Siren's only have Telepathy and Selective Conception]
    • The Sirens are something of a particular genetic engineering project began many years ago by a collection of Serenity Caste Sidereals and the Dragon Blooded clan of Forest Witches, on their jungle world in the Oreithyia star system, where interaction with the arcane and strange mists that exist in the star system allow them access to very unusual powers, but does not reach beyond their world. Nevertheless the Breeding project of the Serenity and the Forest Witchs have created the Siren's, whose powers do continue beyond their world. Mortal Sirens practice Thaumaturgy, Terrestial Martial Arts or rarely even Emerald Circle Sorcery, but it is the Exalted Siren's who get the most attention. In some parts of the universe, their kind are very unwelcome, but the Forest Witchs who are Sirens have lead to some very high breeding Dragon Blooded among their own, and as the Siren's have grown better known, they have become extremely welcome among a number of Dragon Blooded bloodlines. Sidereals among them also are mysterious and sometime speak of specific breeding projects. [Homage: Frank Herbert - Dune - Bene Gesserit]

      -Aquatics - aka - Ocean born - People of the Sea

      • Bearing the Gills and Elemental Water Adaptation and Longevity genetic alterations, the Aquatics are also far from the Imperial center and live on mainly ocean planets, a large collection of them centered around a star system containing several water and ice planets known as Seahome. The Aquatics were genetically engineered for survival in such worlds back even before the creation of the Solar and Sidereal Exalted. Some water aspect bloodlines are found amoung them as well.
      • - Lintha - aka - The Demon Pirates

          [*]Lintha have been altered from the basic human matrix by the Stellar Intelligence now known as the Yozi Kimbery, worked some very unusual changes into their basic essence matrix. All Lintha can learn spirit charms as though they were Demon-Blooded, and essentially possess enlightened essence, but even more then that, they can host the Infernal Essence of the Ravager Caste much easier then human Infernals, living more then a thousand years rather then a century or so as other Infernals (who do not become Devil-Tigers) do. The Ravagers were made from twisted eclipse castes exaltation, and can sanctify oaths based on revenge, hatred and other negative intimacies, as well as learn non-infernal charms like other eclipse related casts... there are not many such exaltations, perhaps a dozen or so at the most.

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Speaking for myself, the more the merrier, Rubio. We have a pm thread with most of the sheets if you want to see the benchmarks of power to aim for should krul say yes or just want to brainstorm.

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I am debating a Dragon-Blood, or a Sidereal. Concept needs to be further thought on, but certainly including Martial Arts aspects.

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